Posted: Mon 16th Jan 2023

Teachers in Wales latest to vote in favour of industrial action – here is when strikes will happen

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Jan 16th, 2023

Teachers across England and Wales are the latest profession to vote overwhelmingly for industrial action. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The National Education Union (NEU) has declared seven days of strikes throughout February and March in response to what has been described as “failure” to provide a fully-funded increase in pay for teachers which at least matches inflation ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Members of the union were asked “Are you prepared to take strike action in furtherance of this dispute?”. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

For the ballot of teachers, in England a 90.44 per cent majority voted yes on a turnout of 53.27 per cent. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

In Wales a 92.28 per cent majority voted yes on a turnout of 58.07 per cent. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The union is declaring seven days of strike action in February and March, though any individual school will only be affected by four of them. The first will be on will be on Wednesday 1 February, affecting 23,400 schools in England and Wales. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​



Teacher members in sixth form colleges in England, who have already been balloted and taken strike action in recent months, will also take action on these days in a separate but linked dispute with the Secretary of State. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Three ballots for support staff were also conducted simultaneous to the teacher ballots in England and Wales. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

In Wales, a ballot result of support staff in schools saw a 88.26 per cent majority vote yes on a turnout of 51.30 per cent. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

This result passed the thresholds and support staff in Wales will be called to take action in their dispute. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

In England, a ballot result of support staff in schools saw a 84.13 per cent majority vote yes on a turnout of 46.46 per cent. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

This result, despite being in favour of action, just missed the Government’s restrictive thresholds. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The full list of projected strike days are as follows: ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

  • Wednesday 1 February 2023: All eligible members in England and Wales.
  • Tuesday 14 February 2023: All eligible members in Wales.
  • Tuesday 28 February 2023: All eligible members in the following English regions: Northern, North West, Yorkshire & The Humber.
  • Wednesday 1 March 2023: All eligible members in the following English regions: East Midlands, West Midlands, Eastern.
  • Thursday 2 March 2023: All eligible members in the following English regions: London, South East, South West.
  • Wednesday 15 March 2023: All eligible members in England and Wales.
  • Thursday 16 March 2023:All eligible members in England and Wales.

Dr Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretaries of the National Education Union, said: “We have continually raised our concerns with successive education secretaries about teacher and support staff pay and its funding in schools and colleges, but instead of seeking to resolve the issue they have sat on their hands. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“It is disappointing that the Government prefers to talk about yet more draconian anti-strike legislation, rather than work with us to address the causes of strike action. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“This is not about a pay rise but correcting historic real-terms pay cuts. Teachers have lost 23 per cent in real-terms since 2010, and support staff 27 per cent over the same period. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“The average 5 per cent pay rise for teachers this year is some 7 per cent behind inflation. In the midst of a cost of living crisis, that is an unsustainable situation. ‌



​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“The Government has also been happy to sit by as their own recruitment targets are routinely missed. Teachers are leaving in droves, a third gone within five years of qualifying. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“This is a scandalous waste of talent and taxpayers’ money, yet the Government seems unbothered about the conditions they are allowing schools and colleges to slide into. The reasons for the recruitment and retention crisis are not a mystery; the reports in the last week from the IFS and the NFER confirm the NEU argument. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“The Government must know there is going to have to be a correction on teacher pay. They must realise that school support staff need a pay rise. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“If they do not, then the consequences are clear for parents and children. The lack of dedicated maths teachers, for example, means that 1 in 8 pupils are having work set and assessed by people who are not qualified in the teaching of maths. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Anyone who values education should support us in this dispute because that is what we are standing up for. It is not us who should turn a blind eye to the consequences of Government policy on schools and colleges. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“It continues to be the aspiration of the NEU and its membership that this dispute can be resolved without recourse to strike action. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“We regret having to take strike action, and are willing to enter into negotiations at any time, any place, but this situation cannot go on. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

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